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Psalm 54-56

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Psalm Chapter 54

Ziph was a highland city in Judah where David took refuge during his time of political troubles with Saul (see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin and Israelite Monarchy - The Civil War): "Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, "Does not David hide among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? Now come down, O king, according to all your heart's desire to come down; and our part shall be to surrender him into the king's hand." (1 Samuel 23:19-20 RSV). This Psalm was written in that time.

Saul and David

"To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, "David is in hiding among us."

Save me, O God, by Thy Name [see What Is God's Name?], and vindicate me by Thy might. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

For insolent [see Reprobate] men have risen against me, ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before them. [Selah]

Behold, God is my helper; The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] is the upholder of my life. He will requite my enemies with evil; in Thy faithfulness put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice [see Place Of Sacrifice] to Thee; I will give thanks to Thy Name, O Lord, for it is good. For Thou hast delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies." (Psalm 54:1-7 RSV)

Psalm Chapter 55

David also experienced betrayal from some of those closest to him (e.g. "But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to hold sweet converse together; within God's house we walked in fellowship" Psalm 55:13-14 RSV), just as Jesus Christ did, as prophesied in the Psalms (see the Fact Finder question below to understand how "wolves in sheep's clothing" have always stalked The Lord's sheep).

Beware Of Wolves

"To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication! Attend to me, and answer me; I am overcome by my trouble. I am distraught by the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they bring trouble upon me, and in anger they cherish Enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death [see What Happens When You Die?] have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, "O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yea, I would wander afar, I would lodge in the wilderness, [Selah]

I would haste to find me a shelter [see Sanctuary] from the raging wind and tempest." Destroy their plans, O Lord, confuse their tongues [see Speaking In Tongues]; for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around it on its walls; and mischief and trouble are within it, ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its market place.

It is not an enemy who taunts me - then I could bear it; it is not an Adversary who deals insolently with me - then I could hide from him. But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to hold sweet converse together; within God's house we walked in fellowship.

Let death come upon them; let them go down to Sheol alive; let them go away in terror into their graves [see Sheol and Hades].

But I call upon God; and The Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. He will deliver my soul [see Where Is Your Soul?] in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear, and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old; because they keep no law, and do not fear God. [Selah]

My companion stretched out his hand against his friends, he violated his covenant. His speech was smoother than butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

Cast your burden on The Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved. But Thou, O God, wilt cast them down into the lowest pit; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will Trust in Thee." (Psalm 55:1-23 RSV)

Psalm Chapter 56

Gath was a major Philistine city that is mentioned a number of times in Bible History e.g. the captured Ark of The Covenant was there for a short time, the giant Goliath was from there and David sought refuge there (see Gath of the Philistines), as stated in this Psalm.


"To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

Be gracious to me, O God, for men trample upon me; all day long foemen oppress me; my enemies trample upon me all day long, for many fight against me proudly [see The Two Kinds Of Pride].

When I am afraid, I put my trust in Thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me? [see Where Is Your Place Of Safety?]

All day long they seek to injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil [see Why Does God Allow Evil?]. They band themselves together, they lurk, they watch my steps. As they have waited for my life, so recompense them for their crime; in wrath cast down the peoples, O God! Thou hast kept count of my tossings; put Thou my tears in Thy bottle! Are they not in Thy book?

Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose Word [see The Logos] I praise, in The Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can man do to me?

My vows to Thee I must perform, O God; I will render thank offerings to Thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, yea, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life." (Psalm 56:1-13 RSV)

Fact Finder: Was "Judas" mentioned a number of times in the Psalms? Why?
See Was Judas Necessary?; also Beware Of Wolves

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